Producer Judd Apatow is devastated after a gunman opened fire during a screening of Trainwreck
in Lafayette, Louisiana on Thursday night, leaving three dead -- two victims and the alleged shooter himself, who police have identified as 59-year-old John Russell Houser.
"One of the reasons we make these movies is because the world can be so horrifying and we all need to laugh just to deal with it," Apatow said in a statement to ET on Friday. "So to have this happen in a room where people were smiling and laughing devastates me. My thoughts and love go out to the victims and anyone touched by this madness or any madness. We, as a country, need to find a way to do better.”
Apatow, 47, directed Trainwreck, which stars comedian Amy Schumer. Schumer has also responded to the tragedy, tweeting on Thursday, "My heart is broken and all my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana."
Law enforcement confirmed that nine people were transported to area hospitals by ambulance following the shooting, and one person transported to an area hospital by a private party. The two women who died from their gunshot wounds have been identified as 21-year-old Mayci Breaux, a college student, and 33-year-old Jillian Johnson, who co-owned a toy and gift shop.
Apatow has spoken out about mass shootings before, including at a gun control event in Los Angeles he headlined in February.
"Responsible gun laws are essential," he told Deadline
. "It's shocking that even after all the mass shootings that have happened that there isn't more being done to make our country safer. ... Most Americans can agree with what needs to be done, but the gun lobby is so strong and so influential with these politicians that nothing gets done. I'm not sure what it will take. But it's an important battle not to give up on."